The Intent, implementation and Impact of our Curriculum
The National Curriculum for music aims to ensure that all pupils:
• Perform, listen to, review and evaluate music
• Be taught to sing, create and compose music
• Understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated.
At St Nicholas, the intention is that children gain a firm understanding of what music is through listening, singing, playing, evaluating, analysing, and composing across a wide variety of historical periods, styles, traditions, and musical genres. Our objective is to develop a curiosity for the subject and help raise aspirations across the school while increasing children’s knowledge and understanding. We are committed to ensuring children understand the value and importance of music in the wider community, and are able to use their musical skills, knowledge, and experiences to involve themselves in music, in a variety of different contexts. As a multicultural school, we see music as a universal language which allows all of our children to communicate without any barriers to learning.
The music curriculum (Charanga) ensures students sing, listen, play, perform, improvise, compose and evaluate. This is embedded in the classroom activities as well as the weekly singing assemblies, various concerts and performances, the learning of instruments in class or with music specialists, and the joining of one of our after school music clubs. The elements of music are taught in the classroom lessons so that children are able to use some of the language of music to dissect it, and understand how it is made, played, appreciated and analysed.
In the classroom, students learn how to play an instrument, from some of the main instrument groups of wind, strings and percussion. In doing so, they understand the different principle of each method of creating notes, as well as how to read basic music notation. They also learn how to compose focussing on different dimensions of music, which in turn feeds their understanding when listening, playing, or analysing music.
Composing or performing using body percussion and vocal sounds is also part of the curriculum, which develops the understanding of musical elements without the added complexity of an instrument.
We use our city centre location to our advantage to increase our enrichment opportunities with trips to Philharmonic concerts or performing at the M and S Bank Arena, local hospitals or in the main shopping area. Children are continually given opportunities to enhance their musical learning.
Whilst in school, children have access to a varied programme, which allows students to discover music from across genres and periods of history. They are given the opportunity to take part in a year of violin lesson from a specialist to give them the tools and opportunity to decide on their own musical future and they have an understanding of how to further develop skills less known to them, should they ever develop an interest in their lives.
The integral nature of music and the learner creates an enormously rich palette from which a student may access fundamental abilities such as: achievement, self-confidence, interaction with and awareness of others, and self-reflection. Music will also develop an understanding of culture and history, both in relation to students individually, as well as ethnicities from across the world.
Children are able to enjoy music, in as many ways as they choose- either as listener, creator or performer with many varied opportunities to practise, test and improve these skills throughout their journey through the school. They can dissect music and comprehend its parts. They can sing and feel a pulse. They can play instruments and begin to improvise or create their own scores. Children at St. Nicholas learn to enjoy music.